Cheap Thrills

BIG SKY COUNTRY: This summer we've been mentioning "Monsoon Madness" with a wink, followed by a long, dry-boned sigh. But now that the real thing is here, you can enjoy Fourth Avenue's eclectic, outdoor Thursday night music series with nary an ironic peep. These fun, free shows draw eclectic crowds to what the golf set calls Tucson's "alternative" shopping district.

Nor does the music come from a string of weary cover bands. The line-up changes each week, with interesting troupes playing their up-and-coming hearts out under billowing summer skies. This week is no exception, with Hobart and How to Build a Rocketship creating an electrical storm of rock and pop.

Monsoon Madness runs from 7 to 10 p.m. every Thursday throughout summer on the Winsett Park stage, 316 N. Fourth Ave. For information, call 624-5004.

THE GERMAN QUESTION: With his fingers on the pulse of global contemporary art, Cologne-based Artforum critic Yilmaz Dziewior has pulled together six hot young artists for Who, if not We?, a poignant new exhibit at Elizabeth Cherry Contemporary Art.

The installations, videos and drawings by Kai Althoff portray invented stories whose subjects (including collective consciousness, music and lifestyle) play a crucial part. Cosima von Bonin integrates objects made by friends into her own projects, and also reaches into collaborative installations and performances. According to Artforum, "her art's greatest strength is the charged relationship it affects between subjective gestures and an array of subtle references."

Earlier in his career, Lothar Hempel produced art through association, inviting others to become participants. Since then, his work has often been autobiographical, with intricate installations questioning the very process of creating art. The work of Manfred Pernice is noted for its bull's-eye commentary and architectural subtext, acting as a cipher for numerous social and political issues; and Tobias Rehberger reveals the sensuous, pleasurable and intellectually provocative underpinnings of art, architecture and design through visionary "cross-pollinations."

The sixth artist in the show is Gregor Schneider, who has continuously rebuilt the spaces inside his home since he was a teen, resulting in riveting videos and photos documenting his constructed environments.

Who, if not we? runs through July 31 at Elizabeth Cherry Contemporary Art, 437 E. Grant Road. Hours are noon to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Call 903-0577 for information (or see this week's review in the Arts section).

TIME TRAVELERS: Compete against your peers -- and against your own exploding heart rate -- when Rincon High School hosts the All-Comers Track Meet.

The big, quarter-mile oval is open to all who are still able to stand and take nourishment, with competition in many of the field events wide-open as well. Fortunately, these cardiovascular follies fire up just about the same time as the sun is going down.

The All-Comers Track Meet takes off at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 20, at Rincon High School, 422 N. Arcadia Blvd. For information, call 740-2680.

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